Apes Caste System?


The Planet of the Apes had a strict Caste System. What were the writers trying to say?

Chimpanzees: Intellectuals, Scientists, Doctors
Gorillas: Soldiers, Police, Hunters, Laborers
Orangutans: Politicians, Administrators, Lawyers, Priests

I guess humans were the outcasts.

There is a fourth type of ape called gibbons. Are they represented in any Planet of the Apes book or movie?


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I think because the Lawgiver was an orangutan, the orangutans became the revered species. They then manipulated the gorillas through religion to keep the chimpanzees from taking control.
In one of the novelizations of the cartoon series gibbons and lemurs (labeled as "foriegners") were arriving for some kind of demonstration (possibly the episode "Screaming Wings", where the gorillas dug up an ancient airplane from the early 20th century to try and use it to take control of their society).

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I wish Pierre Boulle had written sequels to his original novel. I wonder if he was trying to say something about race relations. Humans frequently go to war with different races and nationalities. But apes got along fairly well despite their Caste System. And the apes were more than different races. They were different species. I can't recall any inter-species ape couples. If they truly were different species they may have been able to produce offspring but they would have been sterile.

I would like to have seen a sequel when the chimpanzees and gorillas join forces to overthrow the orangutans. I can imagine one day a new generation of gorillas that had grown tired of being muscle for the orangutans.

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I seem to recall a proposed novel sequel called "Planet of the Men" that never materialized.

The chimpanzees despised the gorillas, so I couldn't picture an alliance.

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from jefgg


The Planet of the Apes had a strict Caste System. What were the writers trying to say? Chimpanzees: Intellectuals, Scientists, Doctors
Gorillas: Soldiers, Police, Hunters, Laborers
Orangutans: Politicians, Administrators, Lawyers, Priests


I think Rod Serling was the one who came up with the Ape Caste system. I don't think that facet was part of the book. Like most of the things Serling wrote, the movie in many ways was a satire and criticism on our own societies. The hypocrisy of their caste system is sprinkled throughout the movie. There is talk about "All Apes Being Equal" but as Taylor points out some are more equal than others. The Chimpanzees criticize this system the most as they are have very limited political power.

Human are essentially large pests and nuisances. The Apes are vegetarians so the humans are hunted and killed because the humans eat and forage through all of the apes crops.

The Caste system in the t.v. show is a little different. The humans are higher evolved in the show so they actually work as laborers and farmers. It's sort of like the Jim Crow South. Humans aren't slaves but they have no political power and little to no civil rights. Chimpanzees have more political power in the t.v. show. The don't use orangutans that often on the t.v. show. I imagine this was a budgetary reason.

There is a fourth type of ape called gibbons. Are they represented in any Planet of the Apes book or movie?


I brought this question up before because gibbons are cool looking creatures. I think it was because gibbons are lesser apes and smaller than the great apes and I think it would have been hard to recreate that in 1968. I think they also wanted to focus on the the great apes: Humans, Chimps, Gorillas, and Orangutans.

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The Apes are vegetarians


I think real gorillas and orangutans are vegetarians and chimpanzees sometimes eat small animals. But I am not Jane Goodall. I wonder what that woman thinks of the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Did the show ever go into detail about the apes' diets?

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I think real gorillas and orangutans are vegetarians and chimpanzees sometimes eat small animals. But I am not Jane Goodall. I wonder what that woman thinks of the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Did the show ever go into detail about the apes' diets?


Yeah, I believe Zira brings it up a few times. I think she brings it up in "Escape From the Planet of the Apes" and maybe "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" as well.

I think Galen talks about the need to look for fresh fruit a few times on the tv show. There was that fishing episode on the t.v. show but I think the fish was used as fertilizer for the crops of the apes not for ape consumption. I think the ape diet is mainly fruit & grains with various root vegetables & legumes mixed in.

I know Dr. Zaius speaks about the need to kill humans because they are pests and scavengers and they destroy the apes' crops. Things get a little more weird in "Beneath" and the following sequels and then the t.v. show has a much different dynamic.

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I think Jane Goodall would point out that the gorillas are more like pacifists compared to the aggressive post-puberty chimpanzees.
Yes, it's pointed out on the movies and television show that the apes do not eat meat.

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From Fletcherj119:

I think Jane Goodall would point out that the gorillas are more like pacifists compared to the aggressive post-puberty chimpanzees.


Yeah, adult Chimpanzees are the most aggressive of the apes yet in the original movies and t.v. show they're depicted as pacifists. And gorillas are vegetarians and really only get aggressive when they are provoked or feel threatened.

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Also in the movies the gorillas are the least intelligent. In real life, the intellects of all great apes are fairly similar:

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I think real gorillas and orangutans are vegetarians and chimpanzees sometimes eat small animals.


Although meat isn't as predominant in the diet of chimpanzees as it is for humans, they do regularly hunt monkeys for meat. Here's a link showing that chimpanzees are decimating a local monkey population due to their over hunting of them: http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150728-chimps-nearly-wiped-out-monkeys

There have been cases where orangutans have been shown to eat fish. Here's a link to such a story: https://www.wired.com/2011/04/orangutan-tools-fishing/

But, yeah, gorillas are vegetarians, quite bright and relatively passive, yet have been treated quite unfairly by PotA in its showing them as aggressive, blood thirsty and stupid.

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